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Find Success in the Fork in the Road

By Orrin Woodward

It’s before 7 AM, on a foggy Saturday morning, and my mind is mulling over the personal development habits that produce champions.  Everyone, without exception, can become a champion by changing his daily habits.

One of the problems in life, is that bad habits are easy to develop, while good habits are hard to develop.  Think about it.

No one ever creates a plan to get out of shape, but many have performed the task admirably, myself included.  On the other hand, there have been seasons in my life where I have been in great shape.

I know that I can do both, but one takes constant discipline, the other doesn’t.  How many things in life is this true of?  Do you pick whatever habits feel good at the moment, accepting whatever long term results that come with it?

Or do you choose the habits that are inconvenient in the moment, but produce the long term results that you desire in life?

Today, as you read this, you stand at a fork in the road.  If you haven’t produced the results that you yearn for, look no further than your daily habits.  Look at your road.  Can you see the long term results developing from your habits?  Are you happy with these results in your life?

If you are, then forge ahead, but if you aren’t, then perhaps today is the day, in which you take a different road.

The champions road is available to all, and nearly all would love the results of a championship life, not just the monetary rewards, and the feeling of satisfaction created by a life well lived.  One may be thinking: why don’t more people choose the success path?

Simply put, the path is uninviting, having briars, thorns, and burrs scattered over the trail.  In fact, it’s hard to even recognize the fork in the roads, since the success road is loaded with painful reminders that it’s off the beaten trail.

Even the people who truly want to change, will suffer greatly from walking down the “road less traveled”, wondering if they made the right choice as they are poked again and again by the burrs, thorns and pickers.  This is the moment of truth in one’s life.

Do you turn back, yielding to the pain of the moment by surrendering your dreams for the comfort of the well traveled road to mediocrity?  Most people who start on the success road will not finish, turning back when the going gets tough. But that doesn’t have to be your destiny, because you don’t have to be like “most people”.

I have walked down both roads at different seasons in my life, learning many lesson along the way. I learned that the success road in life is hard.  It requires a pain tolerance beyond what most people are willing to endure in our pampered age.  But over time the road will get progressively easier.

Conversely, the road to mediocrity is easy, requiring little upfront pain, with plenty of company to encourage you on your road to mediocrity, but, over time, the road will get progressively harder.

With each mile, the mediocrity path becomes more of a burden, drinking to its dregs from the ‘purposeless life’ cup.  The road to mediocrity becomes littered with hurting people, dealing with the pain of their self centered lives.

By focusing only on their own challenges, having no time to serve the hurting people around them, suffering from the regret filled pain of a purposeless life, the road to mediocrity becomes a long walk of quiet desperation.

Don’t let the fabled ease and comfort of the road to mediocrity fool you as life has its price that must be paid in full, either a life full of discipline or full of regret, the choice is yours.

Winners choose the success road, enduring the hardships, knowing that success lies on the other side of the pain, while others choose the mediocrity road, seeing only the perceived comfort, believing the lie, that life can be lived successfully without paying a price.

Sadly, it’s only after many wasted years, that people realize, that from listening to the wrong people (the masses living in mediocrity), that they have sold God’s purpose filled plan for self’s pampered filled pretensions.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to end this way.  At any moment in time, one can get off the road of mediocrity and find the straight and narrow path, leading to success.

By finding a mentor who has walked further down the road of success, one finds an example of someone who endured the pain to live a life of significance.  I learned from my mentors, that if they can journey down the success road, then I can too.  By leaving behind my habits of mediocrity and replacing them with the habits of success.

Where are you on life’s journey?  What road are you traveling on?  Are you living with discipline or with regret?  Perhaps you are you ready to find a different road, discovering the fork that leads to purpose filled success?

It’s your life, it’s your choice, and it’s your pain, either discipline or regret. Choose wisely.


Orrin Woodward is the co-founder of Team, a leadership development and training company, and the New York Times best-selling co-author of Launching a Leadership Revolution.

Named by the International Association of Business as a Top 10 Leadership Guru, he is dedicated to building leaders and entrepreneurs and promoting freedom and prosperity.

Orrin blogs regularly at Orrin Woodward. He lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida with his wife and four children.

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